Just when you thought recent news stories regarding Social Security Disability benefits, increases in Medicare Part B premiums, and concerns regarding affordability of health care were over, along comes a story broadcast on FoxNews.com regarding a headline that reads, "Adult Baby Claims Disability Checks Will Continue Despite Coburn Complaint."
Apparently, Senator Tom Coburn initiated an investigation of an adult man who lives part of his days as a literal "adult baby." He sleeps in a crib, drinks from a bottle, and sucks on a pacifier while playing with tiny Army men figures in his bedroom. The man has apparently been collecting Social Security Disability checks for quite some time.
Senator Colburn first saw Mr. Stanley Thornton, the adult baby, featured on a National Geographic Channel television show earlier in the year. He demanded that the Social Security Administration investigate the man's case. He, like many others, wondered why Thornton was receiving federal disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration apparently cleared Mr. Thornton's case and has stated, "...we recently reviewed the evidence in your Social Security Disability claim and find that your disability is continuing."
Mr. Thornton, the "adult baby" has, according to the Washington Post, received disability payments in the amount of $860 a month. Mr. Thornton states that his disability benefits are not based on his adult baby lifestyle, but due to conditions such as ADHD, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and spinal problems. On his website, Mr. Thornton claims that his illnesses have undergone extensive testing.
Senator Colburn is still not satisfied, and feels that Mr. Thornton's continued receipt of Social Security Disability funds amounts to fraud. It is alleged that thousands of individuals throughout the United States are actively engaged in disability fraud, costing not only millions of dollars, but taking away benefits that could be better served for those truly deserving of them.
While Mr. Thornton's adult baby lifestyle has certainly generated attention and caused more than a little controversy, his physical diagnosis and right to legitimate benefits have been pushed into the background. In actuality, it is essential to know why Mr. Thornton was approved to receive disability benefits in the first place before reaching a conclusion that his claims are fraudulent. While the case has certainly gained attention and notoriety because of his "adult baby" persona, he has indeed been diagnosed with psychological and mental disorders.
If you suspect someone may be fraudulently claiming Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271. The office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration is responsible for fraud prevention in Social Security programs. Individuals may also report fraud online at Social Security.gov, using their fraud reporting form. You can also mail a report to the Social Security Fraud Hotline, P.O. Box 17785, Baltimore, MD 21235 or fax a report to 410-597-0118.
Reports of fraud, waste or abuse of Social Security Disability Income coming from consumers is one of the best ways that the Social Security Administration can track and deal with Social Security Disability Insurance fraud cases.